Austin FC Season Kickoff, Black History Month, and More Community Events

Get out and about in Austin while the weather's good


Lavender Thug tips her hat at Lavender Country 2023 (Courtesy of Cheer Up Charlies)

Lavender County

Thursday 22, Cheer Up Charlies

In 1926, historian Carl Sandburg described President Abraham Lincoln’s male friendships as having a “streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets.” This phrasing, along with prompting queer inquiry into Lincoln’s legacy, stuck around as a slang term for gayness that carried into less-fun phrasing like the Lavender Scare and the Lavender Menace. Enter Lavender County, CUC’s “queer country showdeo” that celebrates all shades of purple LGBTQ passion. In addition to disco country tunes played inside and out by DJ Chorizo Funk and Vegan Leather, lavender lovers will enjoy drag by Gothess Jasmine, Bobby Pudrido, the Trans Era, Sticky Gold, Sir Beau Elliot, and Petty Cakes. Plus: Kind Clinic, on-site and ready to offer free HIV testing.   – James Scott



Photo by Roadpass via Unsplash

Austin RV Expo

Thursday 22 - Sunday 25, Austin Convention Center

How can a wanderlusty citizen “head out on the highway, looking for adventure” as Steppenwolf suggested and still be a total stay-at-home? Why, with a recreational vehicle, of course! That’s an RV, yes, and this three-day event at the convention center Downtown will show you, wannabe modern pilgrim, exactly what that means, will get your motor runnin’ with a stunning array of state-of-the-art RVs and RV accessories on display – from Airstream, Princess Craft, Crestview, Blue Compass, Ron Hoover, and more.   – Wayne Alan Brenner


Austin Rubber Roundup

Friday 23 - Sunday 25, Hotel Indigo

The Rubber Roundup’s mission is “to bring together everyone to our blossoming city of kink and weird to make it shine for a weekend,” and we’re for that 100%. But let’s stretch it rubberwise to 110% for the capital of this legislatively repressive Lone Star State. You don’t have to come in rubber gear – vanilla to vinyl, Lycra to leather, it’s all welcome – and you needn’t be LGBTQIA+ – just bring your authentic self to see and learn and celebrate rubber as fashion, fetish, sensuality, and aesthetic. Bonus: a vendor market with Package Menswear, Sir Rat Leather & Gear, Glanzig, Vilain Garçon, and more.   – Wayne Alan Brenner



Verde Verde Verde Festival

Friday 23, Meanwhile Brewing Co.

If you’ve been to an Austin FC match, then you know La Murga de Austin – the supporters section band – is the life of the party. On Friday, they’re bringing that party to Southeast Austin’s Meanwhile Brewing for the Verde Verde Verde Festival, a 6-11pm concert featuring DJ Stitch, Aviator, Danger Roosevelt, Yacht Dogs, Relegated, Movimiento Cumbia, and – big finish – La Murga de Austin themselves. Can’t make it out? Meanwhile lager will be on tap at Q2 when the new season kicks off Saturday.   – Kimberley Jones



Photo by Jana Birchum

Austin FC vs. Minnesota United

Saturday 24, Q2 Stadium

Missing the expanded MLS playoffs altogether in 2023 after only eventual league champion LAFC stopped them from a MLS Cup berth in 2022 rounded out a disappointing third year for Austin FC. Sporting director Rodolfo Borrell looks to incorporate a long-term vision for the club as the Verde and Black start its fourth league campaign against another team that missed last year’s postseason after qualifying in 2022: Minnesota. Luckily, this city has proven that its fervor for El Tree is legitimate regardless of results. Tickets on SeatGeek currently start at $58. ¿Estás listo?   – Derek Udensi


We Take Care of Our Own: A Benefit for Our Friend, Markus

Saturday 24, Elysium

If you’ve ever been to Austin’s original goth club, you’ve probably spent your night under the watchful eye of Markus, the venue’s head of security. Tragically, he has been diagnosed with cancer, and now the community he’s guarded is coming together to look after him with a special, star-filled fundraiser of Elysium regulars, including Jurgen Engler of industrilegends Die Krupps, Chant’s driving force Bradley Bills, Austin’s own godfather of darkwave, Curse Mackey, and the Majical Power, the new collaboration between Black Angels guitarist Jake Garcia and his business partner/drummer for the Ripe, Nick Yaklin.   – Richard Whittaker



Chas Moore (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Amplify Black Voices: Celebrating Black Trailblazers

Saturday 24, Menchaca Branch Library

Queer Black Women Alliance hosts a Saturday afternoon symposium on the different intersections of Black life, including community health, identity, and economic equity. The event schedules three conversations – “Black, Trans, and Published,” “DeSTIgmatizing HIV,” and “Economic and Racial Equity” – between writer KB Brookins, Austin Justice Coalition founder Chas Moore, health educator Jimmy Baker, and Queer Black Women Alliance founder Arijah Rashid. Free to the public and complete with a Q+A session, organizers promise, “This is a space to learn, be vulnerable, brave, and ask questions.”   – Carys Anderson


Black History Month Kids’ Day

Saturday 24, Carver Museum

Black History Month was originated in the U.S. in 1970 by students and educators at Kent State University, with the precursor being Negro History Week, started by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. This year’s BHM theme is African Americans and the Arts, so the Carver is highlighting Black poets, musicians, visual artists, and more with storytelling, crafts, and lots of other fun and educational activities to bring history to life.   – Kat McNevins



Photo by evocateur / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cupid’s Undie Run

Saturday 24, Kung Fu Saloon

We’re not your mom, OK. We’re not telling you “Don’t run with scissors!” But we are telling you to run in your undies, in public, for a good cause. (Running in your undies is, itself, a good cause – but do read on.) Every February, thousands of undie runners in cities across the U.S. come together to support folks affected by neurofibromatosis. They do this by drinking and dancing, then legging it through Downtown in their small-and-lacies for about a mile, and finishing with an epic dance party. Sound like fun? You bet your sweet Underoos it’s fun!   – Wayne Alan Brenner


Hops for Houses

Saturday 24, Williamson County Expo Center

A plethora of local brewskis will be flowing pure and true, but this isn’t just any suds-forward craft beer festival: Hops for Houses supports WilCo’s Habitat for Humanity, so you’ll be helping provide strength, stability, and self-reliance for families in need of an affordable home. Good reason to slake your thirst with the brewmasters of Austin Beerworks, Shiner, Meridian Hive, Barking Armadillo, Red Horn, Twisted X, Big Country Organic, and many more in a full afternoon of sampling and sipping among food trucks, live music, and silent auctions under the big Texas sky.   – Wayne Alan Brenner



Photo by James Leasure

Austin Modern Home Tour

Saturday 24, all over town

Gimme (fancy) shelter! This annual tour presented by the Modern Architecture + Design Society returns all post-pandemic and offers you the chance to see some of our burgeoning city’s coolest residences inside and out – and to meet the architects, designers, and builders who took them from inspiration to incarnation in stone, brick, wood, steel, and glass. These contemporary homes – more than a dozen dazzlers scattered throughout Austin – can be visited in any order you like, at your own leisurely pace, and we’re thinking you’ll be especially impressed by the green-forward beauty from Moontower Design + Build.   – Wayne Alan Brenner



Photo via Getty Images

ATX Open

Saturday 24 - Sunday 3, Westwood Country Club

Though inaugural ATX Open singles champion Marta Kostyuk won’t return to defend her crown, some notable names have entered the field. Two-time major champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka (No. 27 in the WTA Tour rankings as of Feb. 19) looks set to play as the draw’s No. 1 seed. 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, 2022 Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, and former Longhorn Peyton Stearns are some of the American women returning for the tournament’s second edition. Stearns won the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Singles Championship while attending UT-Austin and made the quarterfinals of last year’s ATX Open. Free entry to the event’s qualifying has “sold out” for both Feb. 24 and 25, but paid tickets are still on offer for the remaining days.   – Derek Udensi


Shake It Up

Sunday 25, Captain Quackenbush’s Coffeehouse

The mission statement of Off-The-Grid Missions, fundraising recipients for Deaf Austin Theatre’s upcoming variety show, is to fill a noticeable gap in disaster response, therefore “providing Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people with critical life-saving resources.” That goal mirrors DAT’s originating idea: to provide an inclusive theatre space for Deaf artists free from the audism experienced by founder Russell Harvard on mainstream stages. Talented Deaf artists such as Harvard and New Amsterdam’s Sandra Mae Frank, among many others, will perform songs, poetry, and more at this fundraiser, all of which serve to highlight the importance of OTG’s work.   – James Scott


Family Day with Totally Cool, Totally Art

Sunday 25, Mexic-Arte Museum

Since 1996, art educators with Totally Cool Totally Art have provided free classes that offer teenagers multimedia art know-how from professional artists. From sculpture to digital media, painting to papier-mâché, TCTA has a class on offer for whatever the adolescent artist desires. Case in point: This Sunday’s session with New York-raised painter Jonas Petkus and mixed media artist Rachel Ditzig, where teens and family can make paper puppets and crowns. Admission’s no charge thanks to the H-E-B-funded Domingos Gratis en Familia grant.   – James Scott


Texas Performing Arts Trivia

Monday 26, Barrel O’ Fun

Trivia nights abound in our fair city filled with smarties, but this one has an extra-special twist. It’s hosted by UT-Austin’s Texas Performing Arts, who’ll challenge the teams of up to six brainiacs to prove their knowledge of arts and entertainment. Not only will the top three teams go home with the glory, they’ll score prizes from Alamo Drafthouse and TPA, such as tickets to upcoming shows like Steve Treviño, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, or Girl From the North Country.   – Kat McNevins



Todd Duplechan, Adrian Lipscombe, Amy March, and Julie Ratzesberger prepare last year's Texas Table fundraiser (Courtesy of Planet 9 / The Cook's Nook)

Texas Table: A Feast for a Cause

Tuesday 27, Lenoir

Mostly we feast because we’re hungry, or stressed, or bored, but the Cook’s Nook is offering a much better reason with Texas Table: A Feast for a Cause. Two causes, in fact: The chef-driven, four-course dinner will raise funds for Black Mamas ATX, a nonprofit providing education and training to combat maternal mortality among Black women, and Partners for Education, Agriculture & Sustainability (PEAS), a nonprofit dedicated to fostering connections with the natural world. The evening will feature a silent auction and the culinary talents of Cook’s Nook founder Joi Chevalier, Todd Duplechan, Uyen Pham, Robert Hale, and Pavla Van Bibber.   – Kimberley Jones


Pokémon Day

Tuesday 27, Pinballz Lake Creek

Pika-pika! Or, as Pikachu might say were he to have human vocal cords, happy Pokémon Day! Trainers of all ages are invited to partake of Pinballz’s celebration featuring cards, games, and giveaways. Put in for raffle prizes like a 6-foot Snorlax plush or Jumbo Pikachu Mega Construx; refuel your Pokémon Go fever via free lures running all day and quest completion rewards; and sip on themed drinks such as Charizard’s Fire Punch – or the mysterious Guess That Pokémon drink. Sorry: no jelly donuts.   – James Scott


Rainbow Skate

Wednesday 28, Playland Skate Center

In “The Queer History of Roller Skating,” Vice writer Lisa Lotens interviewed trans woman Jayliah Jada van Gorkum about why she felt roller skating attracted so many queer folks: “You see all kinds of people defying social norms in skates,” van Gorkum said. “It’s a very freeing hobby.” Austin Pride gets in on the free-wheeling with a night at Playland featuring tunes spun by DJ Chorizo Funk. While this ain’t their first roller rodeo, this is their Broken Hearts Club edition, so Austin Pride encourages all to “[share] the love and skate with a sweetie or just come and roll out with your friends.” See ya on the rink, lovers.   – James Scott


Queer Trivia

Wednesday 28, Wanderlust Wine Shady

According to Eater Austin in 2021, Wanderlust Wine’s Shady Lane location has about 80 wines on tap. While obviously you’ll not be getting through all 80 during the Little Gay Shop and host Aira Juliet’s monthly queer trivia throwdown, several sips a’ vino might spark a random memory that wins you the night. This month’s theme is Love on Tops (and Bottoms), so study up and be prepared to lip-sync for your Lambrusco if you make it to the final round.   – James Scott



Photo by lilartsy via Unsplash

Rock ID Hike

Wednesday 28, Lockhart State Park

What’s a geologist’s favorite Police song? “Roxanne.” And what’s a geologist’s favorite way to spend a Wednesday afternoon in gorgeous Central Texas? A rock identification hike! Join the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to tour Lockhart State Park and learn about rocks common to the area on a ¾-mile hike over moderate terrain. Free with park admission ($3 for adults and free for kids 12 and under); find your guide at the Creekview Trailhead. A stop for some of Lockhart’s famous barbecue on the way there or back is a gem of an idea.   – Kat McNevins



Glamp Glamp

Thursday 29, Lynny’s

In 2006, artists Silky Shoemaker and Rayna Matthews constructed Camp Camp: a celebratory queer experimental performance space where, according to local workout queen/movie star Erica Nix, homespun hero Paul Soileau, aka Christeene, worked out his characters and Dynasty Handbag, the zany alter ego of performer Jibz Cameron, guested often. Resurrecting this fallen freakshow are queer champions Lynn Metcalf, Aira Juliet, and Nix, with a big ol’ performance night in MASS Gallery’s backyard. Theme’s Leap Year, because we’re all taking big-ass leaps, ain’t we?   – James Scott



Mad Men Sixties Retro Experience

Thursday 29, Marlow

If only real life were like AMC drama Mad Men: the fashions, the interior design, the music, the misogyny ... well, we can enjoy the aesthetic and leave behind the antiquated boys’ club mentality. This night presented by Wonderlust promises classy cocktails, a pro cigar-roller, stellar soul music from Brian Scartocci, and a glamorous Sixties chic ambience in new Sixth Street spot Marlow. Taking over for Edwin’s Sports Bar, the Waller Creek-adjacent lounge offers the sultry type of atmosphere you could picture Peggy and Don sparring in over a cocktail. Dust off your fitted suits, fedoras, and sheath dresses to act the part.   – Kat McNevins


We Are Blood x Girl Scouts of Central Texas

Through February 29, We Are Blood Donor Centers

Although giving blood is its own reward, and your donation will save a neighbor’s life, it sure doesn’t hurt to get something in return. And you know how they give you a cookie with some juice after you donate blood? Well this time, you can get a whole box. The Girl Scouts of Central Texas bring four fan faves to We Are Blood to reward donors with a sweet treat: Choose from Thin Mints, Caramel DeLites, Peanut Butter Patties, or Adventurefuls to replenish your nutrients after your contribution. (Those peanut butter ones are just packed with protein, and mint is a leafy green, right?) Schedule an appointment online or by calling 512/206-1266.   – Kat McNevins

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